The impeccable substitutes for Potato

Well! What is your menu for your lunch today? Does it include crunchy grilled potatoes or any of its fried forms? If your answer is in the affirmative then please think twice before relishing this tasty  vegetable. Though a single large potato contains 7 grams of fiber and an equal amount of protein, when fried in oil, this delicious vegetable can turn out to be deadly for our health. Let me explain! Our fried tasty ones, can immensely add to our weight gain or lead to heart attacks or diabetes when deep-fried. This is in accordance with the Harvard school of public health. Also, according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition people who ate fried potatoes twice a week saw an increased risk of death. Well, Do not feel let down! There are ways to eat them healthy. Also, you can find impeccable substitutes for them. This article deals with the same!
Let me first list out some of the perfect substitutes for potato and state why they are better than their delicious counterpart.
(The nutritive information provided is in accordance with USDA).
How does its carbs beat out  potato?
Now let us do a quick comparison between the Potato and the Zucchini on the basis of their calorific value. While potato contributes 168 calories for the serving  of 173g cup, the Zucchini only contributes 29 calories for the same amount of serving. Also, you will only be consuming  5.44 grams of carbs in Zucchini while the Potato has  37g of carbs.Well! We all know that the calorie intake is very important for controlling body  weight. This comparison makes it  clear that Zucchini has an upper hand with respect to carbs.
How does its taste tingle our taste buds just like the potato?
Though the taste of Zucchini is bland when eaten raw it can prove to be a tough competitor to the Potato when cooked in the right way. Using  herbs like Basil, Oregano, Garlic, etc., can give an exotic dimension to the  taste of this glorious vegetable. To keep it simple, just a sprinkle of salt, chili powder and pepper to this veggie can make your taste buds fall in love with it.
Selection  and storage: Check out the Zucchinis which are fresh, spotless and are not oversized.  Thin ones are always preferable. If the skin of the vegetable is wrinkled it is better not to choose them as they might not be fresh. For the Zucchinis to last long, it is best not to store them in airtight coverings for good air circulation.
An easy recipe:
Zucchini hummus delight:
Just blend a zucchini(medium-sized) which is cut into slices, 3 garlic pods, a handful of chickpeas( soaked overnight, boiled and rinsed),  2 spoons of lemon juice and the same quantity of tahini(a paste from sesame seeds), olive oil(as per your requirement), salt and 3 green chillies in a food processor. The ingredients should be blended into a smooth paste. A delicious hummus is ready in minutes!
Taro root:
How does its carbs beat out  potato?
Fondly known as the “Potato of the tropics”, this root vegetable may at a first glance seem to have carbs that is more than that of potatoes. But on a closer look, this vegetable is in fact a blessing in disguise especially for the  diabetic patients! Want to know more? Let me explain! The resistant starch and the fiber present in them does the trick. These are the form of carbohydrates that cannot be easily digested by the human body. This implies that the sugars present in them cannot be easily absorbed by the system and hence preventing the glycaemic index to shoot up.
How does its taste tingle our taste buds just like the potato?
Ranging from bland to a nutty flavor depending on its variety, this root veggie can pose a tough competitor to the potatoes when cooked  with spicy and flavorful ingredients.
Selection and Storage:
Look out for the ones that are firm, blemishless, wrinkle- free and without molds. It is always best to store this root vegetable in a cool and dry place and not in the refrigerator.
An easy recipe:
Spicy Masala Arbi:
Wash and boil the taro root( 6 in number) in a pressure pan and make sure it does not turn mushy. Peel and cut them into slices. Mix them up with chili powder(2 tsp), masala powder(2 tsp), ginger garlic paste(1/2 tsp), turmeric powder(1/4 tsp), and salt as per your taste and fry them with little oil in a pan on a low flame till the veggie becomes crunchy and crisp. A delicious curry is ready to be served with rice.
How does its carbs beat out potato?
A 100 gm serving of ready to eat mashed potatoes contains 13 grams total carbohydrates which includes 1.9 grams of dietary fiber and 1.8 grams of sugar while the same serving of boiled turnips contains 5.1 grams of total carbohydrates which includes 2 grams of dietary fiber and 3 grams of sugar. A marked difference in the carbs value can make the turnips superior to that of the potatoes.
How does its taste tingle our taste buds just like the potato?
The taste of this versatile vegetable can match the taste of that of potato. The flavor of the mashed version of the turnip can be compared to that of the potato by mixing it with ginger garlic paste, chili powder, and other spicy ingredients.
Selection and Storage:
Go for the turnips which are smaller in size and  have a bright purple underside.  Turnips require a moist storage environment and can be refrigerated for about 4-5 months. Care should be taken not to wash them before refrigeration.
An easy recipe:
Spicy Shalgum curry:
Wash and cut the turnips( about 2) into small pieces. Chop one onion bulb and three tomatoes. Do the seasoning with mustard seeds and little urad dhal in little oil.  Add the cut onions and tomatoes with a little asofoetida. Fry them well and then add the turnips. Add salt, chili powder and garam masala as per your taste. Also, add one tea spoon of ginger garlic paste and a little turmeric powder.Keeping the curry spicy will make it taste good. Keep sauteing the ingredients until the turnips are cooked well. Delicious spicy Shalgum curry is ready in a jiffy.
How does its carbs beat out potato?
In accordance with American Diabetes association, cauliflower is considered to be a non-starchy vegetable whereas the potatoes fall under the starchy category. Also, as per the USDA norms, 1 cup of cauliflower has just 27 calories which is very low when compared to that of the calorific value of potatoes. Also, the presence of a substantial amount of vitamins and minerals in them can make them a wonderful substitute for potatoes.
How does its taste tingle our taste buds just like the potato?
Cooked cauliflower tastes really exotic and its mild flavor and crunchy texture can really want you to feel asking for more! Also, with spicy ingredients added to it , its taste can almost outbeat the potatoes.
Selection and Storage:
It is best to select the ones which have a bright creamy color and tightly packed florets. The Cauliflowers which have brown and green patches should be strictly avoided as they might have worms. To store them damp-free see to that it is wrapped in a loose cloth covering and kept in such a way that the florets are facing  upwards in your refridgerator’s veggie draw.
An easy recipe:
Cauliflower masala gravy:
Grind together 5 medium-sized tomatoes, 3 green chilies, 2 garlic pods, a small piece of ginger and 1 small-sized onion and keep it aside. Bring salt water to a boil in a large vessel. Remove the leaves of the flower and immerse the vegetable in the vessel in such a way that the florets are covered with salt water, to get rid of the worms, if any. In a pan add 2 spoons of ghee and do the seasoning with aniseeds. Add the ground ingredients to the pan and let it simmer for a while with a closed lid. Meanwhile cut the pre-boiled veggie in to small florets and add it to the pan. Mix the ingredients well, and add salt, garam masala, turmeric powder and chilli powder  to it as per your taste. Let the gravy simmer in low flame for about 5 minutes. Add little sugar and a dash of lime if required. Hot and tasty masala gravy is ready to be served with hot rice or Rotis.
How does its carbs beat out potato?

Carrots is the winner with respect to the carbohydrate content in them, when compared to potatoes.  The cooked boiled carrots with salt added to them contains a total carbohydrate of 8.2g with 3g of dietary fiber and 3.5g of Sugar content per 100g serving. This is low when compared to the cooked mashed potatoes which contains a total carbohydrate of 13g with 1.9g of dietary fiber and 1.8g of sugar for the same amount of serving. Also, the whoping quantity of Vitamin A in carrots can make them a good substitute.

How does its taste tingle our taste buds just like the potato?
The carrot’s taste can range anywhere between soapy, bitter and sweet. Wondering why?  This can be attributed to the fact that the volatile compounds called the terpenoids decide the taste of the carrots. When present in higher concentration this compound makes the taste of the carrots bitter whereas when present in low levels of concentration it can make them taste sweet. This is with regard to raw carrots. When cooked, the bitterness of the carrots may vanish giving way to sweetness. This is because the cooking process breaks down the terpenoids.
Selection and Storage:
Selecting the freshest of the carrots is ideal and according to the author of Roots, the fresh greens attached to them is always recommended for buying rather than the wilted ones. Also, the top of the carrot that attaches to the stem must be orange rather than green. Underripe carrots are the ones that may taste bitter and soapy. It is best to not store the carrots near any ethylene producing fruits like the tomatoes in your refrigerator as it may cause the vegetables to turn bitter because of the development of terpenoids in them.
Well! Here I come to an end about the narration of some of the impeccable substitutes for Potatoes. But wait! Before we conclude ,let me state that our potato friends are all not that bad. Let me also add that they are loaded with vitamins, phytonutrients, and minerals. The trick is to consume them in the right way possible!
Ways to consume potatoes in a healthy way:
·       Cooking the potato in the microwave or oven is the best way to retain the whole of its nutrients.
·       The next best way to consume the potato is to steam it though some of the water-soluble nutrients may get lost.  Water-soluble nutrients comprise of Vitamins C and B complex, potassium and calcium.
·       The skin of the cooked potato is a real treasure as it contains the majority of the vegetable’s fiber.
The above -stated facts are in accordance with Jarzabkowski, a nutritionist with the Fitness Institute of Texas at The University of Texas at Austin.
All said and done, to keep fit, it is always better to watch what we eat and eat what we enjoy, keeping in mind the nutrient factors. Three cheers to our good health!